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Four tips on how to start your own optometry practice

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Optometry Practice loans will help you push forward with your venture and a fast rate.

It's no secret that optometry practice continues to grow in complexity. The average optometric practice specializes in almost everything Ray-Ban, Acuvue, and FreshKon have to offer. It's also no secret that starting a practice can be riddled with complex challenges. It can also be a bit easier to navigate this new terrain with some sound advice and determination.

Get funding
Getting the money you need involves understanding how much capital you need and finding the right funding source for your business, whether it's an SBA, personal loan, or line of credit. Optometry Practice loans will help you push forward with your venture and a fast rate.

The number of optometrists in the United States has grown significantly in recent years—by over 19 percent since 2007. That includes both independent and corporate practices, which means that the industry is on track to be highly competitive.

You could compete against established optometrists in your local area who have loyal patients and a strong reputation. If you're new to the industry, creating a business plan for your optometry clinic is essential that puts you on equal footing with your competitors.

That may mean purchasing new equipment or renovating a space so you can accommodate more patients. You'll also need to hire staff and stock up on inventory. In other words, opening an optometry practice requires funding upfront.

Understand the value of vision care
Vision is one of the most important senses. It is tied with our sense of hearing as the most critical sense of learning and development. To determine the value of your vision care, it's essential to start by understanding what vision care means to a person.

Vision is also often taken for granted until it starts to fade. When we have full vision, it's easy to think that we don't need to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist because we don't need glasses or contacts yet. However, our eyesight starts to deteriorate long before we realize there's a problem. This means that many people are missing out on some of the best forms of treatment.

Marketing and advertising
Marketing and advertising are critical when starting a business because they allow potential customers to learn about your company which can lead them to decide if they would like to do business with you or not. 

Here is a quick tip list for marketing and advertising to remember when starting your optometry practice:

  1. Make sure you have a clean, modern, user-friendly, and up-to-date website. Ensure that all of your contact information is on every page of your site and Google Maps.
  2. Make sure you have a Facebook page connected to your website. You need to post regularly with photos, videos, articles, etc. You can also post special deals or promotions on Facebook! This way, people can see what kinds of things you are doing in the community or office, and they can keep up with the latest news in eye care.
  3. Display information about your practice in local businesses where people gather, such as coffee shops, gyms, and libraries. This will get the word out about your new practice.

Business plan
It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of opening your first optometry practice. But before you start down that path, it can pay to spend a few minutes creating a business plan for your new practice. It doesn't have to be a lengthy or complicated document; it's more important just to get your ideas down on paper.

A business plan is like a blueprint for your practice. You can think of it as an insurance policy because having one will help protect you from making expensive mistakes that could ultimately cost you your practice. It's also an important tool to help you attract investors or lenders should you need outside financing. It will show them that you've thought out the details of starting and running your practice and that it's more likely to succeed than one run by someone who isn't prepared.

In addition, a business plan forces you to think about all aspects of your new optometry practice. It can help you better understand what it is you want from your career as an OD and how much time and money it will take to achieve those goals.

Conclusion
Similar to owning a restaurant or wanting to open your specialty clothing store, starting your optometry practice takes a lot of time and effort. But it also takes a ton of special equipment and products that can be extremely expensive. However, if you have wanted to do this, make sure that you do plenty of research beforehand. That way, you will avoid some of the costly mistakes that others have made. 

Don't be afraid to go through the same experience with two or three different business partners if you think that will benefit you in the long run. It's not a less risky decision – but more collaborative input will do you good.


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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